The thing that bugs me about the Yankees loss to the Nationals is not the loss in itself. You are bound to lose games when you play as many as they do in baseball. The thing that I hate the most about the game is the way they lost.
Tanka did not look good in the least bit. He was a mess. The Yanks had bases loaded in the top of the third with nobody out, and they still failed to get even one run on the board. Aaron Hicks got out swinging before Ackley grounded into a double play. Strasburg was faced with an innings that was getting away from him and yet he managed to get it done. That or the Yankees had a chance to get runs on the board but failed to take it. It was the same old story from last season. They had the men on bases, in good scoring positions but just couldn’t get the job done.
Then we handed it over to Tanaka who was a sensational pitcher in his rookie season, up until the point when he got injured. Of course, anytime he blows an innings or a game in such spectacular fashion as he did last night there will always be the wrangling of hands and the lamentations that he was not recovered from the injury which brought his stellar rookie season to an end. No doubt Joe will have to fend off these questions again. It seems a regular occurrence whenever Tanaka blows a game like this.
But it was bad. He gave up a homer to ex-teammate Stephen Drew which would surely hurt the Yankees front office’s pride given they got rid of him. But I am happy that he scored and wish him well. I liked him a little bit more than Headley.
Then the innings got worse for Tanaka. He just couldn’t get his stuff right in that innings and in the end he lost 7 runs. We can only scratch our heads and wonder is this a portend of things to come? Is this what we are to expect in the upcoming season? Tanaka just not having the same stuff as he did. We already have a lot of concern over the way Nova is blowing hot and cold and is not able to lock down the fifth starter slot, which would surely be his ahead of CC given the way that Sabathia is not adjusting to the lack of pace which had been a hallmark of pitching in the past. The pitchers have been the biggest question mark this offseason, and the run up to spring and they continue to be so. As does the hitting.
The blame cannot be all on Tanaka, the hitters must take the blame for this game going so far out of the Yanks hands. Had Hicks or Ackley been able to get even one of those guys home while getting out, this game would have been different. Tanaka lost the plot. But he was let down big time by his hitting, and it is worrying to see two new guys keeping up with the same hitting MO from the last season. Failing to get scores on the board, and putting the pressure on the pitchers until they lose the game and plot with a spectacular collapse.